A Japanese printing company, Mizukami Printing Inc, is going to set up a printing estate in Munshiganj in collaboration with Printing Industries Association of Bangladesh (PIAB).
“The matter is still under discussion; we held a meeting recently with the Japanese delegation at Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), which is the implementing agency of the estate,” PIAB General Secretary A F M Shah Alam told the FE.
“We offered them proposal; they showed intense interest but nothing is final as yet,” he said adding that the company might help set up technical infrastructure in the estate.
PIAB invited the Japanese printers’ delegation to visit Bangladesh with a view to extending Japanese cooperation in implementing the proposed BSCIC Printing Industrial Estate. In response, the Japanese printers’ delegation visited Dhaka recently and met with the high officials of ministry of industries, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) and the present PIAB executive committee.
The Japanese printers’ delegation was headed by Mr Mizukami, Managing Director of Mizukami Printing Inc and former President of Japan Federation of Printing Industries (JFPI). The other members were Mr Ogino, Director, Mizukami Printing Inc, Mr Emi, Director, Mizukami Printing Inc and Mr Matsuoka, Asstt Director, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan.
In April this year, PIAB and BSCIC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up the printing estate at cost of Tk 1.96 billion.
The government is supposed to start acquisition of nearly 50 acres of land in Sirajdikhan upazila of Munshiganj district for setting up the printing estate.
“About 90 per cent of the total cost will be met by the printers while the government will bear the rest under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project,” Mr Shah Alam said.
The new industrial zone, named ‘BSCIC Printing Industrial Estate’, will host 419 printing companies to be relocated from Dhaka city. It will be set up in Kayain union under Boroborta Mouja in Sirajdikhan upazila.
The BSCIC will set up a solid waste management plant, a product display centre, a fire service station and a bio-gas plant on the site.
There will be plots of four categories in the estate — A, B, C and S. The plot sizes in the first three categories are set to measure 6,000 square feet (sq ft), 4,000 sq ft, 3,000 sq ft respectively. The plots of odd sizes will be in the other category. Prices of the plots are yet to be fixed.
Payment for the plots will be made in 15 instalments. The allotment process will be carried out by a committee headed by the Munshiganj deputy commissioner.
The BSCIC has so far established some 74 industrial estates involving an aggregate investment of Tk 14.7 billion, where 0.44 million people work and produce goods worth over Tk 29 billion a year.
Mr Alam said: “We proposed to set up such an estate from Mudron Shilpa Samity in 2000, and after 13 years it is going to see the light. Over the years we have been persuading the authorities concerned to undertake the project.”
“Printing presses use some toxic materials that pose a threat to human health and environment. Besides, Dhaka is also getting more and more populous day by day. So, the printing presses need to be relocated from the capital.”
There are more than 7,000 printing houses in Bangladesh. Of them, 3,000 are in Dhaka. Although around 20 million people are involved with the sector, it needs more skilled manpower.